Luther Burns The Papal Bull:
Luther, expecting the bull, turned the tables on the Pope, who was the heretic according to the Scriptures. He wrote a Latin and German tract “Against the bull of Antichrist,” calling it a “cursed, impudent, devilish bull.” His ferocious anger against the bull bordered on frenzy. He went so far as to say that no one who adhered to the bull could be saved. So, Luther resolved on a symbolic act that would cut off all possibility of retreat. The Pope had ordered all of his books burned, without distinction, to be burnt, and they actually were burnt at several places. Luther wanted to show that he could burn books, too. Returning fire for fire, Luther gave notice of his intention, and on December 10, 1520, at 9 AM, in the presence of a large number of professors and students, he committed the papal bull to the flames with these words of Joshua, “As thou [the Pope] hast vexed the Holy One of the Lord, may the eternal fire vex thee!" (Joshua 7:25). The spot where this happened can still be seen today.
Burning the Pope’s bull was the most audacious and evocative act of his entire life. For by it he defied the greatest power on earth, a power before which emperors, kings and princes bowed in reverence and awe. It was the signal of absolute separation from Rome and it destroyed the effect of all future papal bulls on half of Western Europe. It liberated Luther and the whole Protestant whole from the unbearable tyranny of the papacy.